I hope you had a great day yesterday, sweet friends. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off! I know – ugly visual if you’ve ever seen someone cut a chicken’s head off (They really do run around!).
Did you get to listen to my interview? Although I was nervous and a bit frazzled, the scene in my house before we went on the air was hilarious! I called in five minutes before the show. Everyone is talking on the phone like a conference call as we were waiting to go on air.
Then my dog started barking – really loudly! “Oh goodness, NOT NOW!” So, I started running around the house with my water, notes and miscellaneous stuff in my hands and the phone tucked loosely between my shoulder and my ear. I finally settled in my room on my bed when I realized I didn’t feel “professional” enough there.
The dog was quite, so I tried the table again. It didn’t last for long and I had to make the same frantic journey through my house again. This time I stayed in my bedroom and tried to get myself together in 3 – 2 – 1. “Oh no, we’re on!”
You can listen to the interview by clicking the link at the right. Since the actual interview starts 10 minutes in, you may want to drag the time bar thingy over. I calmed down a couple minutes into the call. By the way, Scott Causey was a wonderful host!
Sorry I rambled. You’re here for a Bible study! So let’s go ahead and dig in!
Our text today is Philippians 3:15-19. Take a few minutes and read our Scripture reference for today in several versions. (The link will provide 4 versions)
Did you notice that verses 15 – 16 are a reference to what we read prior to that? Paul was saying…therefore...since…because you have have nothing to boast about, your righteousness comes from Christ, your in a journey to take hold of the life Jesus has taken hold of for you and you should be constantly forgetting what is behind and pressing on to what Christ has called you to…then if you are spiritually mature, you will do what we’ve been talking about. If not, the Lord will reveal it to you.
Of course, that’s my paraphrase of verses 15 – 16, but I wanted you to see that Paul was reflecting on what he had said in earlier in Chapter 3. The inference may have even gone back into chapters 1 and 2. Remember, this is a letter from Paul. The chapter and verse references were added later for our benefit.
Today, we’re going to park on Philippians 3:17 for our primary study. It’s an interesting verse that contains some very key words in the original language.
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” Philippians 3:17NKJV
Note the phrase, “join in following”. It is the only time in Scripture you find this phrase and the only time that specific verb for follow is used. It is the word, symmimētēs and it means to jointly imitate others.
It’s important because Paul was talking to the Philippian church as a whole.
I recently watched one of my favorite shows, America’s Funniest Video, where a brood of ducks emerged from under momma duck’s wings and began to follow her every where she went. It was a funny site to see them waddle back and forth in unison as they closely followed momma’s lead.
Occasionally, one would wander from the group and head off in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, it threw momma off course and all the little chickadees, as well.
That’s what Paul was saying. “In unison, follow my lead.” He knew that just as one wandering chickadee could throw the whole team off track, so too, could a wandering Christian throw the others off track as well.
1. With that in mind, have you ever followed a wandering chickadee instead of staying close to momma duck?
2. Have you ever been the wandering chickadee, yourself?
Now, let’s move on and look at the rest of verse 17. Look at the word pattern.
It’s the word typos in the Greek and it is used 16 times in Scripture. Fourteen of those times, they are used by Paul.
The word “typos” is where we get our biblical concept of typology. It’s a mark, and impress or a pattern to point to something else.
We find my types of Christ throughout the Old Testament. Patterns of something that points us to Christ. The sacrificial lamb is a type of Christ. The blood on the doorpost during the Passover is a type of the blood of Christ that was shed on Calvary.
They were examples – illustrations – patterns of one thing that pointed to another, more significant thing.
3. After carefully considering the concept of typology. How does that relate to what Paul was telling the Philippian church in verse 17?
4. How do you think Paul was able to set himself up as a pattern, or an example that the church could follow?
I’ve heard people say, “Don’t follow me, follow Jesus. I’ll let you down, Jesus never will!” And while part of that is true, we should live our lives in such a way that people can follow us as we follow Christ.
5. Are you living your life as a typos or a pattern that others can follow?
6. What changes do you need to make or to become a pattern for others to follow?
7. Are there specific areas in your life that you need to work on so you can say with Paul, “follow my lead”?
In the rest of our text we find those who are intentionally try to hurt the cause of Christ. Those who oppose the Gospel. They work against those who are trying to serve Christ and are openly antagonitic about Christianity.
We see that today.
Turn on the news. Watch television. Listen to the radio. Read magazines. Those who oppose Christianity are growing in numbers.
That should break our hearts. I know it does mine!
If they only knew Jesus and how much He loves them and all that He has done for them, they’d run to Him, not from Him.
Today, sweet friend, ask yourself if you are being someone others can see Jesus in. Be determined to live out loud for Christ! Be a typos! You’ll have an eternity to be glad you did!
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